I’m the most intense person you’ve never met. Ironman, criminal defense attorney, adjunct professor, roller derby skater, class president, West Point cadet, boot camp instructor, Airbnb host, wife, ex-wife. These are all titles I have or have had at one point or another. To say I’m goal-oriented is an understatement. Anything I put my mind to…ANYTHING…I will figure out how to accomplish it. Which is why trying to get one more title…mother…is messing with me so hard.
The impetus for this blog all started when the one I thought was “the” one…wasn’t. The break up destroyed me and in true me-fashion, I I committed to using this experience to improve myself. I saw a therapist who told me I’d be a difficult one because I was so in my head. (Oh yeah lady, you see some real crazies in here but I’m gonna be a difficult one.) So, instead of the usual protocol, she taught me to meditate. She turned on a tape (yes, a cassette tape) with some bullshit about imagining yourself in a rainbow and…it worked. I was able to relax in a way I never have before, which then made our discussions more productive.
That break up journey also led me to a Unitarian Universalist church in my neighborhood. Their intellectual, inclusive, non-doctrinal, choose-your-own-adventure approach to spirituality seemed the best way to actually be “spiritual but not religious.” The one hour a week I attended services was about the only time I could stop wallowing enough to see my own small life as part of something much bigger and more important. I learned this church had a bi-monthly Buddhist study group and figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out. I had no idea what to expect, but like everything else at this church, the overriding qualities of the group were respect, deep listening, and intelligent discussion. And, at the end, we arranged our chairs in a circle and sat together in silence for 15 minutes. That was it. The beginning of my Buddhism, mindfulness, meditation mishmash.
Fast forward three years – I’m married to a wonderful man living a wonderful life. I’m very happy, mostly because I feel I’m living my most authentic life for the first time ever. I did it! I overcame all those past struggles, I’m stepping on the gas in every imaginable way, I’m completely unstoppable. This is the perfect time for us to start trying to have a baby!
…and just like that, years of insecurities and fear I thought were long gone are back, in my face, making me a total crazy person. We are six months in now and I’ve decided that the rock bottom HAS to be behind us. I need that to be true. Our relationship needs that to be true. I must make it so. Because I can’t be this person. Just relax they say. Have sex they say. Check your mucous, take your temperature, don’t do this, you MUST do this. And, every single thing I google just reminds me I should NEVER google this stuff again. Seemingly endless forums from the UK and Australia for women TTC by taking BBT and OPK, checking for EWCM while frantically DTD and then so sad when AF comes. This is my goddamn nightmare. Sitting in the bathroom brushing my teeth before bed using THIS as a reference point for what it could possibly mean that I’ve had a fourth positive ovulation test.
Here’s the thing…I’m really smart. I’m seeing an acupuncturist. I’m tracking the things you’re supposed to. I’m having sex (and enjoying it!). I’m eating right. I’m active. I’m doing the things. I’m doing all the things. And I’m doing all these things with every fucking woman around me pregnant. Seriously, coworkers, best friends, they’re all knocked up. And EVERYONE has got advice followed by the reassuring “it will happen when the time is right.” 1) It might not. There is an actual, possible, maybe even probable (more on this later) chance that it won’t happen. 2) This is not reassuring when I’m used to setting a goal, working towards a goal, achieving a goal. 3) I DIDN’T ASK FOR YOUR ADVICE.
So, what is this? Let’s start with what it’s not. It’s definitely not advice. No one needs any more of that. This is not the miracle of marriage and motherhood fantasy bubble. It’s also not intended to be a blog about infertility or the struggle of conceiving. This blog is an outlet for some real talk about how sometimes despite our best intentions, the world hands you a big fuck-you and expects you handle it with dignity and maturity. This blog is the story of my journey to motherhood (or not!) while trying to figure out how to live my life in a more patient, compassionate way. This blog is about the everyday successes and failures of an overachiever standing at the beginning of the Buddhist path…and struggling.